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Ibtihaj Muhammad

Fencing

Muhammad
Event: Saber
Height: 5'7''
Weight: 145 lbs.
Club: Peter Westbrook Foundation
Coach: Akhi Spencer-El
Education: Dual Bachelor's degrees in international relations and African and African-American studies. Muhammad also attended the School for International Training in Rabat, Morocco (Summer 2006) where she completed courses in Moroccan culture and intensive Arabic.
Interests: Politics, photography, language, football, culture and religion
Influences: There are so many! My parents have guided me spirtually which has kept me grounded; my coach, Akhi, for believing in my athletic ability; and six-time Olympian Peter Westbrook for his guidance and support.

Honors:
  • Three-time NCAA All-American (2004, 2005, 2006)
Senior World Championship Teams: 2012 (Bronze - Team), 2011 (Bronze - Team), 2010
Pan American Championship Teams
: 2011, 2010

Personal: Muhammad trains in New York City at the Fencers Club, and represents the Peter Westbrook Foundation, an organization founded by Olympian Peter Westbrook to mentor inner-city kids through the sport of fencing. She’s coached by Akhnaten Spencer-El -- one of the Westbrook Foundation’s first Olympic alumni. Muhammad started fencing at age 13 when she saw her high school’s fencing team practicing. “Because they were fully covered, my mom suggested that I should try it out when got to high school. As a Muslim female, the sport was uniquely accommodating. My religion requires that my body be fully covered and fencing did just that,” Muhammad says.

Muhammad is training for the 2016 Olympic Games in London where she could become likely the first Muslim U.S. woman to compete at the Olympic Games in a hijab. “When most people picture an Olympic fencer, they probably do not imagine a person like me. Fortunately, I am not most people. I have always believed that with hard work, dedication, and perseverance, I could one day walk with my U.S. teammates into Olympic history." Muhammad says that fencing has taught her "how to aspire higher, sacrifice, work hard and overcome defeat. I want to compete in the Olympics for the United States to prove that nothing should hinder anyone from reaching their goals -- not race, religion or gender. I want to set an example that anything is possible with perseverance." 

Recent Competition History

2012:
  • Gold - Pan American Championships (Team)
  • Bronze - World Team Championships 
  • Bronze - January North American Cup
  • Fifth - Pan American Championships (Individual)
  • Sixth - Bologna World Cup
  • 11th - Korfanty World Cup
  • 11th - Tianjin Grand Prix
  • 20th - Gent World Cup
  • 24th - Moscow Grand Prix

2011:
  • Gold - Pan American Championships (Team)
  • Gold - Pan American Games (Team)
  • Gold - USA Fencing National Championships (Team)
  • Gold - North American Cup C 
  • Bronze - Senior World Championships (Team)
  • Bronze - New York World Cup (Team)
  • Bronze - USA Fencing National Championships (Individual)
  • Fifth - Pan American Games (Individual)
  • Fifth - December North American Cup 
  • Sixth - Gent World Cup
  • Seventh - New York World Cup (Individual)
  • Ninth - Tianjin Grand Prix
  • Ninth - Pan American Championships (Individual)
  • 14th - Istanbul World Cup
  • 17th - Bologna World Cup
  • 20th - Moscow Grand Prix
  • 24th - London World Cup
  • 35th - Senior World Championships (Individual)
  • 41st - Orleans Grand Prix

2010:
  • Gold - Pan American Championships (Team)
  • Gold - December North American Cup
  • Silver - North American Cup F
  • Bronze - Tianjin World Cup (Team)
  • Bronze - Tunisia World Cup (Bronze)
  • Fourth - Senior World Championships (Team)
  • Seventh - New York World Cup
  • Ninth - USA Fencing National Championships 
  • 14th - Senior World Championships (Individual)
  • 18th - North American Cup D

2009
:
  • Gold - USA Fencing National Championships (Division I Individual)
  • Silver - USA Fencing National Championships (Division I Team)
  • Seventh - North American Cup C

2005
:
  • Gold - USA Fencing Junior Olympic Championships

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